Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency are continuing to become more popular. Trading Bitcoin has been increasing in prevalence, and people want convenient ways to spend it.
Unfortunately, it's not always easy to spend. And frankly, this has kept Bitcoin from becoming as mainstream as it could be.
Enter the Bitcoin debit card.
People want to spend their Bitcoin in ways that are easy to understand. This makes using it more welcoming and more accessible to turn your currency into goods.
In this article, I'll discuss what Bitcoin debit cards are, how they work, and some of the pros and cons of getting one. From there, you can decide if getting one is right for you.
What Is a Bitcoin Debit Card?
Before Bitcoin debit cards, people were forced to exchange their currency for legal tender on the market to spend it. More merchants are accepting Bitcoin as a payment option but not as many as you'd think.
This is why getting a Bitcoin debit card is so attractive. It gives you a convenient way to purchase goods and services using your Bitcoin as the payment method.
The card will work the same way your standard bank debit card does. You pay for things using the debit card, and your Bitcoin will be paying for the transaction.
So it works no differently than a regular debit card option. It just allows you to use those Bitcoin funds you have been accruing to get tangible goods or services.
Related: Bitcoin Tax Guide
How Do Bitcoin Debit Cards Work?
As I said above, Bitcoin debit cards will work the same as normal debit cards for the most part. You can swipe it and use the funds to pay for whatever you're buying.
In the past, you needed to exchange your Bitcoin for a form of legal tender before buying most products at traditional retailers. This eliminates that annoyance and winds up letting the card companies handle the exchange for you.
Basically, the exchanging of currency is done behind the scenes when you make use of Bitcoin debit cards. The card company will be transferring your currency for legal tender instead of making you do it.
It’s an efficient way of handling this business that allows you to use your Bitcoin just as you would standard United States dollars or other types of currency. It doesn’t matter if a merchant accepts Bitcoin, because the debit card should work at any retailer that would normally take a debit card. This happens because the Bitcoin debit card companies have partnerships with the biggest credit card names around.
As an example, many of the most popular Bitcoin cards have a working relationship with Visa. As you know, Visa is accepted all around the world. So you can enjoy that same level of convenience while spending your Bitcoin.
Why You Should Get a Bitcoin Debit Card
Many of the positive aspects of using a Bitcoin debit card are relatively obvious. For example, having the financial freedom to spend your Bitcoin more readily is nice.
In the past, you could not spend Bitcoin easily at just about any store. Having access to a Bitcoin debit card changes things up entirely and opens up new options for you.
Using a Bitcoin debit card also has the potential to protect your holdings, too. If you travel to other countries regularly, then you know that currency rates can change all of the time.
Spending typical forms of legal tender can sometimes present certain risks. The stability of local currency can fall into question in some countries, and this can wind up causing you to lose out on some money when exchanging currency and then exchanging it back once you leave.
A Bitcoin debit card allows you to purchase things conveniently at the current best exchange rate. This happens behind the scenes, and you never have to worry about getting a raw deal.
Thus, you shouldn't be shocked by fluctuating market prices after spending a week in a country with stability issues. This protects your finances and allows you to keep things safe.
To add to this, you can even withdraw currency at an ATM if you need to. This is helpful because it allows you to turn Bitcoin into physical cash as quickly as you need to.
If you encounter a situation where someone doesn't take debit cards as a payment option, you can always find an ATM and get the money you need that way. This is genuinely versatile just the same as a traditional debit card from your bank of choice.
Read More: 6 Ways to Track Your Bitcoin Investments
Why You May Not Want a Bitcoin Debit Card
Sometimes the fees will be high. The companies that offer Bitcoin debit card options will be charging you fees to make it worth their while.
The fees will differ depending on which card you go with. Some will be better than others and will be more worth your time.
Make sure you're transferring your Bitcoin to the wallet account associated with the debit cards too. This can be somewhat of a nuisance for some people.
Most people want to avoid any potential risks of having their Bitcoin stolen and transferring the Bitcoin to the wallet may increase the risk of cyber theft. Mostly, this will be a safe situation, but it is something that you should know.
How to Get a Bitcoin Debit Card
Getting a Bitcoin debit card is not actually going to be too difficult. You just need to reach out to one of the credit card companies offering these cards.
You can sign up and will then have to pay any associated fees to get started. It will generally be easy with most companies to be able to get a Bitcoin debit card quickly.
Related: 5 Ways to Invest in Bitcoins
Best Bitcoin Debit Cards
Below are some of the most sought-after Bitcoin debit cards on the market. These cards are all excellent and will be useful to you.
Look at the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision. This will help you to spend your money wisely, and everything should go smoothly.
Cryptopay Debit Card
The Cryptopay debit card is one of the most popular options for people who like to spend Bitcoin. This is based in the European Union.
Some of its positive benefits include low commission fees and free worldwide delivery. It should be accepted anywhere that will take major credit and debit cards.
The negative side of this debit card is there will be fees for loading it, and you must pay maintenance fees. This is common, and the charges aren't unreasonable.
You need to know some fees could somewhat hamper your experience. There is also a limit on how much you can load onto this debit card until you are verified. The limit is fairly generous, but it is still something to know before signing up.
Spectrocoin Visa Debit Card
Spectrocoin is one of the most straightforward debit cards to use when you want to spend your Bitcoin. Getting one should be a natural process and you can use it almost right away.
Loading money onto your card is quick and easy. It is associated with Visa, and that makes it a trustworthy card right off the bat.
The shipping fees for this card are high, though. Getting an actual plastic card to use in stores will cost you quite a bit. There should be a good experience once you use the card, though.
Uquid Visa Debit Card
Uquid is a good debit card option for anyone who wants to order multiple cards. Due to the association with Visa, it will be easy to use this card at most stores.
You can get a card through this company without having to go through an identity verification process. This streamlines things and makes it simpler just to use your Bitcoin how you want to.
Logging into the site is annoying and isn’t as intuitive as most would like it to be, though. Combine this with the poor English on their website and lack of customer service, and you have a problem.
This is still a sound card, but it does come with some caveats. Look into all of your options before deciding on this one.
BitPay Visa Debit Card
This is a very well-known company, and you should have no trouble using this card around the world. As with the other options associated with Visa, the BitPay Visa Debit Card will be very simple to use in familiar locations.
The associated fees are reasonable, and it makes it easy to see why this card is so prevalent. If you are looking for a good card based out of America, then this might be the best option for you.
One negative is this is only available to residents of the U.S. You also must use a standard home address to get this debit card.
They will not ship these cards out to a P.O. Box and you will also need to provide your driver’s license and social security number just to apply. This will be too much for some people so take the time to think about whether this is right for you.
Xapo Debit Card
Xapo is one of the first companies that issued Bitcoin debit cards. This makes them a reliable company that can offer you a good experience.
This is an easy debit card to get, and it will ship to you in most countries of the world. If you are looking for a simple application process, then this will be one of the preferred methods.
Problems arise when you look into the fees of this card. Some fees seem to be excessive. For example, they charge a fee for changing your PIN number.
They also do not offer PIN or chip cards, which could be a bad thing for many people. It is a good card in many ways, but the negatives can be somewhat frustrating.
So you can see that using a Bitcoin debit card will be a convenient way to spend your Bitcoin. You can enjoy using your Bitcoin in just about any store you want to.
Getting a card shouldn’t take you long, and you will be using it just the same as a traditional debit card quickly. Some cards will have more associated fees than others but just do your best to pick the option that works the best for your specific situation.